Most around the league expect LaMarcus Aldridge to re-sign with the Trail Blazers this coming summer, as he said he would, but an executive from an opposing team told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that the Blazers are “very, very scared” that he’ll walk in free agency. The exec cautioned that it’s probably just “paranoid” thinking on their part, but this weekend, peppered with questions from the New York media, Aldridge praised Phil Jackson, the city of New York, and said he’d be a fit for the triangle offense, Deveney notes. The power forward has largely declined to talk specifics about his upcoming free agency since just before training camp, when he repeated his intention to re-sign with Portland. Here’s more from a busy Northwest Division:
- Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams are off-limits for the Thunder, but the team is open to trading everyone else for the right offer, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
- It’s unlikely the Nuggets trade Jameer Nelson, in spite of interest from the Wizards, Heat and Cavs, given GM Tim Connelly‘s long-held desire to have the point guard on the team, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post,
- The Nuggets would like to trade JaVale McGee more than any other player on their roster, but the team is making Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic untouchable for any deal, Dempsey adds in the same piece. Grantland’s Zach Lowe also reported today that Nurkic is off-limits.
- The Blazers would like to add a small forward, given Nicolas Batum‘s inconsistency this season, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes amid his weekly power rankings.
- Sources tell Kennedy they believe the Timberwolves are open to trading some of their veterans for the right return (Twitter link). Still, president of basketball operations and coach Flip Saunders has said he doesn’t intend to do any more deals.
- The Blazers and Pelicans are worth keeping an eye on as the Wolves continue to try to honor Chase Budinger‘s trade request, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).